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Eight great healthy Super Bowl foods

Super Bowl Sunday isn’t a national holiday, but that doesn’t stop over 130 million Americans from treating it like one. The Super Bowl is the second largest food consumption event in the U.S., just behind Thanksgiving.

Most Americans actually relish Super Bowl Sunday because of its laissez-faire cuisine - and in the days leading up to the event, Americans dish out over $55 million for it.

But, according to a recent survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, almost 90 percent of American football fans say “they ‘never’ or only ’sometimes’ feel guilty about what they eat when watching football games.” Eighty-one percent admit to eating no or just “a few” health foods during a game.

That still leaves a sizable portion of football fans who do want healthy Super Bowl fare.

From the simply health-conscious to those with food allergies and dietary restrictions, typical Super Bowl foods can seem like an enemy - but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can enjoy the game, eat great food and still feel good about yourself Monday morning.

Here are eight great healthy Super Bowl foods from San Diego food bloggers that will score a touchdown at any Super Bowl party.

1. Black Bean Dip. Black beans are a vegetarian’s best friend. They’re packed with fiber and protein and have a robust, meaty flavor. Try this fast and easy chunky Spicy Black Dip with baked tortillas or plantain chips.

2. Hummus. Made with filling, high-protein garbanzo beans, hummus is the healthier cousin of guacamole. This recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is laced with spicy sriarcha sauce, sweet honey and tart lemon. Serve it with whole wheat pita bread or baked tortilla chips.

3. Oven-Roasted Spare Ribs. These spicy, sticky and tender Oven-Roasted Spare Ribs prove that ribs don’t have to be fried to be finger-licking good.

4. Chipotle Chicken Chili. Chili is requisite at any Super Bowl party, so it’s a good thing it’s versatile. If you prefer beef chili, then use lean (94 percent) ground beef to reduce the fat content. You can also substitute leaner meats like chicken or turkey, or go vegetarian. This Healthy Kickin’ Chipotle Chicken Chili with Crispy Spiced Tortillas is packed with satisfying lean protein and fiber making it a hearty belly-filler, not a belly-expander.

5. Turkey burgers. They’re a healthy, versatile and a popular alternative to beef patties. You won’t miss red meat when you taste these moist and flavorful Turkey Burgers with Apples, Gruyere and Sage Mayo.

6. Grilled Kebabs. Grilled or oven roasted kebabs are ideal for a Super Bowl party because they’re easy to make and fun to eat. Healthful cooking methods like grilling or roasting renders lean meats such as chicken, lamb or turkey both flavorful and succulent. Try Mediterranean Lamb Kebabs with Minted Cucumber Chutney and Tomato Eggplant Jam or Indian Tangy Tandoori Turkey Kabobs.

7. Baked Chicken Drumsticks. By baking instead of frying, you’ll still enjoy this Super Bowl favorite without the guilt. These Sweet Chile-Lime Drumsticks are marinated in a sweet and spicy mixture of smoked paprika, chile powder and brown sugar for maximum flavor, then baked at a high temperature for a perfect crisp-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside texture.

8. Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza. Pizza gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, but, with simple tweaks like using a whole wheat crust, low-fat cheese and lots of nutritious veggies, it can be both healthy and delicious. This Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza is topped with antioxidant and vitamin-rich veggies like red bell peppers, mushrooms and onions.

Susan Russo is an SDNN contributing writer. She also writes the blog Food Blogga.